Latter-day Saint Life

The comforting difference between ‘straight’ and ‘strait’ for when life gets bumpy

An s-t-r-a-i-t strait is narrow and specific when navigating it but rarely is it s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t.
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Busy week? Me too. LDS Living is here to catch you up and get you ready for discussions on Sunday. Here’s a nugget of wisdom from this week’s Come, Follow Me study of 2 Nephi 31–33.

These chapters from the end of Nephi’s time with us are full to the brim with new wisdom and insights. Before closing his portion of the plates, Nephi gives lessons on obedience, compassion, endurance, and revelation. Some of his patented plainness comes in chapter 31 where he explains the doctrine of Christ step-by-step.

This is the way

Faith in Christ, repentance, baptism by water, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. This is the way to return to God. And this way is described in the New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants as being “strait and narrow”. If you’ve heard that phrase said out loud, you may not have caught the less well-known spelling of the word “strait”, which usually means a skinny passage of water. Think like the Straits of Gibraltar, or Magellan, or even Florida.

An s-t-r-a-i-t strait is narrow and specific when navigating it but rarely is it s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t. There are bumps and curves and bends, and our lives are like that too. The journey back to God isn’t as simple as moving from point A to point B. But as long as we are traveling along that path He has laid out, we can make it back.

Curves in the path are normal and expected, and these are different from total diversions. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in a talk called “The Straight and Narrow Way” (yes spelled s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t) said, “Even though these teachings of the Savior are plain and direct, we are still at risk of getting sidetracked. Some people choose to follow the teachings of the Lord and of his living prophet only when convenient, but reject them when sacrifice or deeper commitment is required. Some fail to follow only because his divine teachings do not agree with their own preconceived notions.”

In our Come, Follow Me study this week, we are closing out the words of Nephi this week and starting to prepare for Easter. One thing that has come up time and time again already this year is how much Nephi focuses on the plain things, and those five principles—faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, and enduring to the end—are as plain as it gets. We’re the ones who complicate our lives by veering off that strait and narrow way. My main takeaway from these first two books of Nephi is that even if life gets bumpy—feels like a treacherous, skinny passage of water too narrow to safely navigate—if I’m focusing on the simple teachings of the Savior, I won’t go astray.

So that was my takeaway this week. To hear more takeaways from other Latter-day Saints on this block of scripture, join our study group on Facebook and Instagram.

Sunday on Monday is a Come, Follow Me podcast hosted by Tammy Uzelac Hall that is released every Monday to guide you through the scripture readings for the week. This week covers 2 Nephi 31–33 and our podcast guests were Sharon Staples, Tava Udall, and Valleda Woodhall. You can listen to full episodes on Deseret Bookshelf Plus and find out more at

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